First Impressions – What you should focus on in the first 3 months
The first few months of a new job are the perfect time to impress your new boss and colleagues. We show you how.
When you start a new job, impressing your boss and colleagues may be the last thing on your mind. After all, there are so many new things to learn – new company policies, new working arrangements and of course new coffee making facilities. However, both bosses and colleagues are highly likely to remember your behaviour during the early days of your employment. Your first few months are a great opportunity to impress your boss with your great attitude and also bond with fellow employees. If you don’t take advantage, you may never get another chance.
According to psychologists; colleagues and bosses are highly likely to remember your actions and behaviours when you first start working with them. This is something known in cognitive psychology as the primary/recency effect, which is the human ability to remember the first of something, and the last of something, but not so much about the middle. If you’re thinking about keeping to yourself and not doing much for your first few months at work, you’re unlikely to impress your boss or colleagues in the long term. Employees who don’t work hard during their first few months are likely to be remembered as lazy, and those who don’t make an effort to socialise may well be recalled as unfriendly.
Nobody expects a new employee to know everything and do the job perfectly first time. But demonstrating a good attitude is essential. Impress your boss with words and actions to show you’re trying your hardest during your first few working months, and they’ll be more likely to remember you as a very good employee – even if you have a few off days further down the line.
In addition to impressing your boss, the first few months of a new job are a crucial time to bond with colleagues – whose first impressions of you may be difficult to change if you don’t make an initial effort. According to TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, new employees should take every opportunity to socialise. “Make the effort to go to social functions arranged through work,” says Barber. “These allow you to meet your colleagues outside of the usual working environment, when they’re more relaxed and the organisational hierarchies and work-related barriers are weaker, and you can let your personality come across more easily. If you’re asked to join people after work or at lunchtime, accept, because that’s a clear invitation for you to fit in. And, if nobody asks, it’s often because everyone thinks it’s someone else’s responsibility, so don’t be afraid to do the asking yourself. Just like you, most people like to know that others are interested in them.”